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Get up close and personal with the dairy cows and calves in the Boulevard of Dairy Breeds as you will have a fun evening learning about the dairy industry in Iowa! Midwest Dairy is proud to sponsor this year’s Fair After Dark- Moo and Brews event. From Butter Sculpting to baby calf selfies to cow judging to milkshakes there is something for everyone! This ticketed event will be held in the North Annex of the Cattle Barn (Boulevard of Dairy Breeds).

“Iowa dairy farmers are proud to bring dairy to life and share their dairy farm stories as part of this Iowa State Fair tradition,” Cynthia Hamlett, Midwest Dairy farmer relations manager. “Celebrating dairy farmers’ devotion to dairy makes it easy to bring excellent experiences to the fair.

Dairy foods will be front and center at The Dairy Barn, which is one of the Iowa State Fair’s most popular concessions and is owned by Iowa’s dairy farm families. Located north of the cattle barn, The Dairy Barn serves shakes, milk and hand-dipped ice cream daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. In 2019, more than 61,000 ice cream treats – including 22,000 shakes – were served throughout the fair. In addition, hand-dipped ice cream is served at the second Dairy Barn location, which is in the Ag Building.

While visiting the Ag Building, check out this year’s butter cow. Sarah Pratt, a teacher by trade, will be returning to the fair to sculpt 600 pounds of butter. This year, the world-famous Iowa State Fair Butter Cow will be accompanied by a one-of-a-kind Giant Slide made out of butter. Each year, the companion sculptures crafted by Sarah Pratt, feature a special person, event or anniversary. This year, the special sculpture will symbolize not only the 50th anniversary of an Iowa State Fair icon, but also all the generations of Fairgoers who have taken a ride down the Giant Slide during the Fair.

Additionally, fair-goers can watch and learn about the process of milking a cow every day at the “I Milked a Cow” exhibit presented by the Dairy Science Club at Iowa State University. The booth is located near the Boulevard of Dairy Breeds, John and Emily Putney Family Cattle Barn. For $3, the general public can try out their milking talent on a live cow.

Each year, the Iowa State Fair celebrates the more than 880 dairy farmers in the state who are contributing 15,587 jobs and delivering an overall economic impact of $5.56 billion produced and sold in Iowa. To learn more about dairy farming in the Midwest, including Iowa, visit

Editor’s note: Interview opportunities with a local dairy farmer, the Iowa Dairy Princess or other state dairy ambassadors involved in the fair are available. To make a request, please contact Alyson Fendrick at (515) 518-5442 or